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tv   The Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer  CNN  June 16, 2011 5:00pm-7:00pm EDT

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something, but he had a crackerjack defense team. >> sunny hostin, thank you so much. that is it for me here. i'm brooke baldwin. thank you for being with me the last two hours. now we'll take you to washington, as always, my colleague wolf blitzer, and "the situation room" starts right now. brooke, thanks very much. happening now the disgraced new york congressman announces his resignation. just weeks after the death of osama bin laden, a new leader takes the top spot. what about it be for u.s. security? newt gingrich on the defensive again, this time salems his wife's role. is she being started unfairly?
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i'm wolf blitzer, you're in "the situation room." first for the dramatic moment s. democrats and republicans have been waiting for since the scandal took on a life of its own. anthony weiner of new york surrender iing he did it a whil ago. >> i'm here to apologize for the personal mistakes i have made. i make this apology to my neighbors and constituents, but particularly to my wife huma. to fight for the middle class. unfortunately the distraction that i have created has made it impossible.
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i'm resigning so my colleagues can get back to work, and most importantly that my wife and i can continue to heal from the damage i have caused. [ yelling in the audience ] >> throw him out. he's not with us. >> to repeat, most importantly so that i can continue to heal from the damage that i have caused. i want to thank my colleagues in the house of representatives, democrats and republicans align. fundamentally we all agree they are all thank you -- i also also want to express my gratitude to members of my staff.
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they're young people who are not paid very much. they're people who worked very hard and long hours, ultimately those people define the notion of service. i want to thank, of course, the many people who have helped me,ed people who have volunteered, the people who have given me advice, the many of my constituents who have offered me good ideas, and of course i want to express my gratitude to my family, to my mother and father who instilled the values that carried me thus far, to my brother jason and of course to my wife who has stood with me tlurg this entire difficult period and to whom i owe so very much. i'll be looking for other ways to contribute my talents. the idea that leaving a family, a community and ultimately a country is the one thing that all unitesition willition are
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us. what's the reaction, dana, first of all, you're getting from democrats? >> it is relieve politically from democrats about weiner finally stepping down, but certainly sadness for him and his family personally. no one here, especially an think weiner's democrats line to see the rampant and end of a promising political career. it's also what one fellow colleague called the cover up, then he lied to people like you and to me about what he had
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done. listen to what one of his colleagues said. >> if he came out straightforward in the beginning, as reprehensible as his actions and behavior admittedly were, i think he could have survived this. i think that's the straw that broke the camel's back. and i think that we pray for his family, it's important. >> a week ago, ten days ago or so at that news conference, emotional. he said he would not resign. even this weekend, when he was caught up with in new york, he said he would not resign. what happened? what changed his mind? >> that is a term that one of his colleagues who spoke with him, who i talked to last week, used to describe his state of mind. he was absolutely insistent he was not going to resign, even though getting call after call from his colleagues privately. i talked to several last week
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saying, you've got to go, enough is enough. but the fact this story did not end, it was drip, drip, drip, one picture after another, one of them extremely explicit. the fact that it didn't end is what conventioned democratic leaders to come out, and i think ultimately really convinced him, you know, enough already that he realized that he simply can't survive. the president of the united states coming out didn't help either, but it was him wanting to wait until he had a conversation with his wife, whofuls traveling abroad with the secretary of state who she works for, that will was the final decision for him, which happened yesterday. >> tell us, dana, how he informed the democratic leadership of his decision? >> they were on pins and needles. they were waiting for his final decision. it's been five, six days since they publicly came out and said you've got to go. in fact, steve israel, a colleague from new york and nancy pelosi got the call while
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they were at the white house picnic, and their families. he called and said, look, i made my decision, i'm going to resign. i'm actually told that it was so crowded they kind of moved aside to have some privacy. in that call i'm told he was actually very reremorseful. >> he was resigned to his own resignation. >> reporter: exactly. >> there's also reaction out of the white house right now. let's go to ed henry. what are they saying? >> they're trying to say as little as possible. this has been a huge headache for the democratic party, as they try to focus on jobs and issues, as i pressed, does this allow you to focus on jobs? he had a quick answer.
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>> we never stopped focusing on jobs. when the president was asked about it, the president made clear -- he expressed his opinion, but made clear this is not an issue he's been focused on, because obviously he has much more significant priorities. >> reporter: these this what, me worry? kind of attitude, but there was a huge sigh of relief led out from the building behind me today, wolf. >> do we know anybody at the without actually spoke with anthony weiner? or just his democratic colleagues in the house. >> they were ledding them handle there and there's not been a direct conversation. the bottom line is they didn't want to touch this thing ann curry asked him. it's not that the president volunteered that information.
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jack cafferty has "the cafferty file". >> scintillating is not a word i would use to describe the field of presidential candidates. so far mitt romney has emerged as a front-runner, might not last. he's already lost this race once. universal health plan of mike galanos on his watch being
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compared to obama care. neither is the criticism he has trouble talking to real americans. some say the fact that he's a practices mormon could eventually hurt him, too. other candidates not exactly lightening it up, either. there was buzz about michele bachmann. governor tim pawlenty is campaigning his heart out. congressman ron paul, will likely find out that the third time is not a charge, either. people don't know too much about jon huntsman. he's ambassador to china under, and he, too, is mormon. texas governor rick perry could throw his hat in the ring. another texas governor is what the country is crying out for.
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some say he could shake up the field. so far it's pretty much a snooze. according to a record on politico.com, polling data shows that most of the candidates have higher unfavorable ratings than favorable in their own states. feet to the fire come november 2012, most republican voters will pull the lever for whoever the candidate of their party is, no matter how dull or charismatic, but if the independents and frustrated democrats don't get excited, obama is a shoo-in for a second time. here's the question -- why is the republican president yeah field such a yawn? go to cnn.com/caffertyfile and post a comment. they need some sizzle. >> it might get more exciting in the coming weeks. >> let's hope. >> probably. thank you. robert gates has had some impressive runs as defense secretary. he served under two presidents
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for two wars, won the respect of a lot of democrats and republicans. with only two weeks left after his job, he held his last news conference at the pentagon today. let's go there. chris lawrence is joining us now with more on what the outgoing defense secretary had to say. what did he say, cry? >> wolf, after 4 1/2 years now in the office, this was a mix of sort of looking back on his term and looking ahead to the challenges that are still going to be there for his successor. as secretary gates prepares to leave, al qaeda is getting new leadership, too. but gates says ayman al zawahiri is no osama bin laden. >> i think he's gho the some challenges. >> reporter: for one, gates says there's some suspicion within al qaeda, because sweari is a egyptian. >> in that particular context,
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he with a. >> he poked fun at the process when asked why he thought it took them seven weeks. >> reporter: probably tough to count votes when you're in a cave. >> reporter: he avoided the question of whether the u.s. is winning or losing the war in afghanistan, but said the mission is on the past to success. he also urged his successors to continue to deal with pakistan despite massive criticism and accommodations. >> i hate leaks, maybe more than most. >> reporter: gates said he hasn't always liked what reporters have written about his team. >> but i have great respect for your role as a watchdog on behalf of the american people, and as a means for me to learn
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of problems that the building was not telling me about. >> reporter: obviously one of the problems he is leaving behind is the u.s. deteriorating relationship with pakistan. both he and chairman of the joint chiefs mike mull opinion repeatedly over and over again hammered at the fact they would like to see the u.s. continue to work with pakistan despite the criticism, saying pakistan is a key player in that region and key to going after some of the insurgents and terrorist operators in that part of the world. wolf? >> you've covered him for several years. he's a very tough guy, but also an emotional guy. you could hear it in his voice a little bit. we've seen him break down a few times, especially with troops. did you see any of that today? >> reporter: not with us. perhaps the press doesn't quite bring out that aspect of him, wolf. maybe he cries for other reasons when he thinks about us, but yeah, you have seen that softer
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side of the secretary, most especially when he's out there with the troops. we saw it during the last trip to afghanistan a couple weeks ago, where he broke down a couple times, talk you about what the troops meant to him. the fact that he had a hand in putting a lot of them there and now he would be leaving the office, won't be able to weigh in on decisions that affect them. >> it's a life-and-death decision when you're the defense secretary of the united states. that's understandable, looking at the consequences of what you're deciding. chris, thanks very very much. greece is face ago huge threat right now, unlike it's confronted before. protesters unleashed their fury over the country's budget. the outcome could determine the future of europe's currency, for those of us in the united states as well. [ male announcer ] breathe, socket. just breathe. we know it's intimidating. instant torque. top speed of 100 miles an hour.
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lisa sylvester is back. she's monitoring stories, including the turmoil in the greek government. what's the latest there? >> there's a lot going on there, wolf. the prime minister of greece is fighting for his job, as the public shows its frustration with angry protests. the op 7gs isn't satisfied and wants early elections. greece is trying to rein in spending. a failure to do so could cause a catastrophe for financial markets in europe. tunisia may conjure up images of upheaval, but tourism officials want you to speak about beautiful beaches. it's an unorthodox ad campaign, one is heavy-handed treatment
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while showing one woman having a massage. the ad company says it wants to show that things have changed in tunisia by using a little humor. le ka cal's governor is drawing a line in the sand. jerry brown today vetoed a budget, saying it doesn't aunds the state's crisis. saying it contains legally questionable maneuvers. and snow leopard triplets. triplets are making their due abu. the cubs were born eight weeks ago, part of a zoo breeding program for the endangered leopards. the species has been pushed to the brink of stings by poachers, and there could be as few as 3,500 still living in the wild. so very cute, adorable indeed. >> i was in tunisia not too long
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ago. the beaches are great, it's empty right now. so much of that country relies on tourism, but if there's a little political stability, get their act together, tourists will come. we're hoping they get their political act together and that tourism industry -- you like the mediterranean? >> i've heard gorgeous things about it. last time i was on the mediterranean sea is when i was in college, so it's been many, many years. it's supposed to be gorgeous there. >> i hope they get their act together. a new warning from the fbi coming into "the situation room" about a potential terror hit list targeting americans. we're going to tell you who may be at risk. plus can anthony weiner make a political comeback? our strategy session is just ahead.
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let's get back to our top story. this hour anthony weiner announcing he's resigning from office. joining us our cnn political contributors, the democratic strategist paul begala, and senior, and for fund-raising groups priorities usa. also joining us republican strategist mary matalin. guys, thanks very much for coming in. can anthony weiner ever come back politically? will there be a second act for him? >> ever is a long, long time. he's got to repair his marriage, you know, everyone who knows his wife, and i do, feels heartbroken for her. but ever is a long time. if he can repair his marriage and repair himself, but that's the right process, right? i will draw the contrast, this is really important, to united states senator david vitter, a
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republican who ran on family values and caught on a list of the d.c. madam's list of customers. he never came clean. he never answered questions. cnn is not camped outside his office, but david vitter, who committed a crime apparently, what weiner did is creepy, but apparently not a crime. what vitter did is a crime, and he's still in the senate with no resignation, no therapy, no nothing, not even any accountability for his actions. >> he got himself reelected, mary. you're there. >> well, i love how the democrats love to change the subject on this. paul hit the nail on the head. voters are discriminating. they voted vitter back in, his wife forgave him. he did start there, and he's been a successful senator for this state. what weiner did was -- it was just creepy, but paul's exactly right politically. i do believe, however, his higher aspirations may i don't
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recall and beyond are probably off the table, if not with the voters, but funders. funders are very practical. this is not something that they would feel comfortable with, not his behavior, but judgment. >> there is a real chance the voters would have returned him to the house. he resigned for the reasons he stated, bus his party's leadership, nancy pelosi, who is strong and was very angry about this, publicly called on him to resign. the chairwoman of his party called on him to resign. the chairman of the democratic national campaign committee called for him to resign. all the leading democrats called for him to resign even though the voters might have kept him. no one called for david vitter to resign. in fact, 19 republican senators gave money to his reelection. i have to say i did some consulting for his democratic
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opponents, i have a conflict of interest that our viewers should know about. >> why couldn't the democrat get him self-elected? >> well, why couldn't a democrat? because it was louisiana and they're conservative people. >> democrats get elected. >> my point is thinks about hypocrisy. voters have a right to vote for whoever they said to. republicans lined up for call for weiner to resign for what was not a crime, now he has resigned. why won't they hold vitter to the same standards? >> i want to move on, about you go ahead and respond, mary. >> paul is trying to do what he's quite good at and famous for, which is mall lining the entire party for thedec misdecreeians. and that's the end of that story. let's move on to mitt romney.
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let's play a clip. watch this. >> maybe i should also tell my story. i'm also unemployed. [ laughter ] >> and i'm networking. >> better than what we've got. >> and -- but i have in sight a particular job i'm looking for. i know exactly what -- the target -- it's a lot of work. >> i don't know if you could hear it completely, but the keyword was "i'm also unemployed." i guess that's true, he is unemployed. he's looking for a job, namely to become the president of the united states. >> we should all have his challenges. listen, mitt romney is no doubt the now earned front-runner.
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he was the front-runner by default, by name, i.d., et cetera. after his debate performances, his five-point plan responding to the comparison of romney care and obama care, and his campaigning, and it helps to have been around the track once. he is the earned front-runner, and everybody close to him, those not even affiliated with the campaign say he's a much better campaigner and much more suited to this cycle. >> is it his nomination to lose? >> i defer to mary on that. i'm struck he hasn't seemed to have learned much. that comment was callous. >> but he was trying to be funny and cute. he wasn't being serious. >> that's deeply insulting. he's got hundreds of millions in his bank, and he is not unemployed at all. for him to mock people bhor, or try to presend he's in the same boat. he did the same thing last time. he said his kids, riding around
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in a winnebago in iowa campaigning for him were serving their country. the guy is out of touch. he has a tin ear. he's so insulated business his wealth and privilege and ceo background, he has no clue what's going on in the real lives of real people. i think that's what you saw. >> mary? >> as opposed to barack obama, because everybody in america has been a commune organizer and lived the life that obama did. this is nonsense, but i love the level and decibel of the protestation suggests to me that they find him the greatest challenge to their incumbent. >> i think they're worried about mitt romney, because they have strong talking points already aimed against him. not necessarily some of the other republicans, but mitt romney, a lot of opposition research being down on him right now, so maybe we'll see how that plays out. guys, thanks very much. >> thanks, wolf. the u.s. has certainly had a long -- a most wanted list for
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terrorists, but now the fbi has a new warning about jihadists making a list of their own. and after bin laden was killed in pack stage, several lawmakers said the u.s. needs to rethink the billions in u.s. aid to pakistan. we're going to ask a key usz senator where she stands on the issues. stay with us. you're in "the situation room."
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threats against americans from islamic terrorists are
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nothing new, but a new hit list on web sites raising lots of eyebrows right now over at the fbi. our homeland security correspondent jeanne meserve joins us with more. >> hit list is exactly the word. this is being warned about by the fbi. they put out an intelligence bulletin, which says that adam gadahn encouraged acts of individual jihad in a june 3rd video. in response, the bulletin says, an extremist web forum posted guidance on collecting personal information on potential targets. then the fbi says others posted the names of over 40 people, individuals in government, industry and media, the bulletin says the list included people associated with think tanks and u.s. contractors supporting the u.s. military. free throwos were also included. one suggested booby-trapped
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parcels to the residences of the people on the list. the fbi says this all does appear to be aspirational in nature. they contacted the people whose names and photos were posted out of due diligence. >> so they say all the individuals named there, they have been alerted by the fbi? >> i asked a law enforcement efficient if they had all been contacted at this point, that officials couldn't answer that question, but this was put out a week ago. i would imagine that yes, they have been contacted. there are now growing questions about what action pakistan is taking to hold accountable those who may have helped harbor him. senator, thanks very much for coming in. >> you're welcome. >> as far as you know, has anyone in pakistan been arrested for protecting bin laden during all those years he was there?
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has the government arrested anyone who helped bin laden? >> i xwlef it's been reported that one person may well have been arrested. >> one pakistani who may have helped bin laden hide. was that an official? >> i'm not going to get into it, but i believe it's true of one person. >> because, as you know, there's a lot of outrage that the pakistanis have gone ahead and arrested informantings who helped the kriismt o break open the whereabouts of where bin laden was hiding. this is a country that receives about $2 billion a year in u.s. economic and military assistance, so i get the question is, is this money well spend spent? >> well, there's deep concern here. as you know, the house is essentially fenced 75% of the appropriation until there is a statement to how this will be
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spent, and sort of conditions. i think what's happened is over bin laden, the mutual suspicion, and the lack of cooperation has really crystallized. i think the pakistanis have to understand that this is the number one terrorist in the world that had been living sheltered, so to speak, in their country for five years. had bought land, had built a home. it is a substantial home right in the middle of a major suburb that housed a military academy. and nobody in pakistan questioned it. i think they have to understand that we would like very much to work with them jointly, to be able to go after people that are making ieds that are being used against our troops in afghanistan. but if they're tipped off, that's a big problem, so that the trust and the credibility has now deteriorated.
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>> do you believe there are elements in the pakistani government, military intelligence service, who are now protecting, helping the new number one leader of al qaeda, ayman al zawahiri, who is now the number one leader? >> well, we believe he is likely in pakistan somewhere. do i believe that the government is harboring him? no. do i believe that the government might know or the isi might know likely places where he would be? yes. do i believe that the isi could find him if they really wanted to? yes. but what i'm also concerned about is when there were joint operations set up on two ied factories, the people making the ied in the factories were warned and disappeared before the pakistani troops got there.
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that's a big problem, because it says we can't trust you. let me say, i think we want to trust. we want to believe that we can work together with this nation. it is important that we do so. but, you know, we suffered a big blow at 9/11. no american forgets it. i remember it like it was yesterday, what happened. and we would expect pakistan to do the same thing if the situation was reversed. it hasn't been, and the united states doesn't do that kind of thing. >> what would it do if the pakistanis -- and you suspect that are some who are harboring, helping ayman al zawahiri hide out. if the pakistanis, you know what they decided to do? help the united states get the new leader of al qaeda, who probably was just as involved in 9/11 as bin laden was himself. is there any chance the
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pakistani government will do that? >> i think that would go a very long way in showing that we can work together. it makes no sense for the pakistanis to want to harbor terrorists, because if they're real terrorists, they don't stop. they will one day come after pakistan. i deeply believe that. i believe it for the taliban, for the haqqani, i believe it for al qaeda, and i think terror spreads. terror has root causes. i think we need to address those root causes. i also think that we have to take out the leadership, and that's what this is all about. >> on libya, do you agree with the white house, the presidents of the united states, when he says the war powers act does not apply right now to u.s. military operations in libya? >> well, as you know, this is a greatly contested part of law. the president for i guess decades has believed he has a
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degree of executive authority to move here. i think the facts in libya are not distinct in that regard. in other words, the united states is not playing a full role. there are no boots on the ground. we are providing some intelligence and some technological service to nato that is the main body here. having said that, this has gone on for substantial period of time, beyond the 60 days, that's right. i believe shortly, if not already, senator kerry and senator mccain will be introducing a resolution, of which i am a coresponsiblor, and i think eight others are as well, that would essentially says have an authorization bill in it which would authorize exactly what the united states' involvement is today. so that should set us all four square, and we can go on from there. i think there's no need to make a huge issue over there.
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>> when will that legislation be introduced to the senate? >> well, i think it's either today or tomorrow. i reviewed it yesterday and signed off on it for my participation in it. so i suspect as quickly as they can get the sponsors on and get it introduced. >> we'll see what happens. senator, as usual, thanks very much. >> you're very welcome. thank you, wolf. anthony weiner certainly isn't the first lawmaker to leave congress in shame, but how much does he have to fall back on? stand by. a spouse is an invaluable part of any campaign, but some people blame newt gingrich's wife for a lot of his woes. ♪
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now that the disgraced anthony weiner resigned, now what to do with the campaign cash. he has a lot of money on hand >> there is a chance anthony weiner could run for office in the future, possibly mayor of new york. if he does, he has nest eggs to tap into that top his personal
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wealth significantly. the outgoing congressman references his humble financial background >> the middle class story of new york is my story and i'm proud of that. >> as for his current finances, anthony weiner has a few hundred thousand dollars in assets to fall back on. according to disclosure forms that, includes a portfolio worth 190,000 to $285,000. he's got more than $365,000 cash on hand in his chest for congressional reelection and 4.5 million in his perspective campaign for new york city mayor in 2013 >> here can't go to disneyland. he is not able to convert it to personal use >> campaign finance expert ken gross was chief of federal
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election. he can keep it intact if he decides to run in the future. if he doesn't, he would have four options for the accounts. he could give to other candidates or goive to to charity or a party committee or give it back to donors. ken gross said donors to disgraced politicians often demand money back. as for other candidates -- >> if he wants to give it to other candidates, would they take it or is he radioactive? >> that's a tough one. yes, he is leaving under a cloud, but not going to prison. he didn't violate the law. for the time being, some may think the money is radioactive, but overtime i would not be surprised if others accepted contributions >> democratic candidates have been under increasing pressure for republicans to return the money that weiner give them. according to the republican congressional committee, the republicans targeted 20 of the democratic candidate who is
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weiner gave money to in congress and demanded they give it back. they said so far only seven candidates have given the money back. >> i suspect he will keep that nearly $5 million in an bank account and maybe a year or years from now, we will have a chance it get back into politic fist he wants to. he doesn't have to start giving to charity or other candidates he will collect -- he was in the house of representatives for 13 years and six times elected and he will collect a pension from the house from u.s. taxpayers do we know how much? >> we did calculations. they will be on the hook for some of the this. based on his salary of $174,000, they took out every month for a pension, he has over $19,000 in his pension fund at the least. it could be a lot more depending on separate contributions or anything his employer might have matched. it's a byzantine system. a lot of confidential
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information and tough to calculate. he is not eligible for the pension. it's not clear when he can collect it. at a minimum, he has $19,000. >> thanks for doing the math and doing the work. as you always do. a heated reaction to anthony weiner. we are going to hear what the constituents are actually saying. mary snow is on the scene n. a recent hacker attack on hundreds of thousands of credit card accounts now said to be much bigger than first reported. new details into the situation. i will send this to shelley. yeah.
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>> why is the republican presidential field such a yawn? larry said there is no diversity in the republican party. everyone must think and act the same. no room for anyone else. it's said millions of times and they only cater to the rich. it baffles me how a little class person can vote for them. this country has gotten scarey and i fear it may get worse. i would rather have an experienced intelligent patriotic bore than an unvetted detached narcissistic empty suit elected based on meaningless slogans and media type. bob said a yawn? the whole lot of them spouted nothing more than the party line monday night everything wrong is obama's fault. we can fix it with more tax breaks. give it up. standing for no more than the status quo has gotten very, very old. rus in pennsylvania, republican field is only a yawn for those who are interested in sound bytes.
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you have a true conservative in ron paul who speaks on the message of property rights, sound money and liberty, but the mainstream media and citizens want to read sarah palin's e-mails everyone get what is they deserve in the end. nate said jack, there is no sarah palin. you remember that interview with katie couric. at least president obama has charisma that matches his intelligence. whether or not he uses intelligence is each person's opinion, but this is what the field lacks. they may have a level of intelligence, but where is the charisma >> what's wrong with a yawn once in a while. the democrats have all the exciting ones. maybe people will want to yawn after all of this disgusting excitement. steve said i don't know about that. ron paul and michelle bachman? that would be entertaining. indeed it would. wolf some. >> you said earlier, the over
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under that weiner would be gone and you were right. >> i think ray charles could have seen that coming. >> a lot of people did. thanks very, very much. >> to our viewers here in "the situation room" happening now, anthony weiner calls it quits. the new york democrat gives in to huge demand that he resign over his raunchy online behavior saying he cause said too much of a distraction. al qaeda's number two is now number one. how big of a threat will the network pose to the united states? lashing out big time at those who bashed his wife. does calista gingrich deserve the heat she getting. we want to welcome viewers. breaking news and jeannie moos all straight ahead. i'm wolf blitzer in "the situation room."
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>> anthony weiner put an end to his political career today at the place where it began. a senior citizen center in brooklyn the congressman was seen as a potential front-runner to be the next mayor of new york, but beset by a scandal over lewd texts and photos he sent to women online. he announced he is quitting the house of representatives watch this. >> good afternoon. about 20 years ago, i stood in this same room here at the council center and asked my neighbors to elect me to the city council. seven years later, i asked the same people to join with people in queens in sending me to congress. there is no higher honor in a democracy than being sent by your neighbors to represent them
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in the united states house of representatives. it is particularly humbling to represent this district because the communities and families of the ninth congressional district are hardworking, patriotic, they are opinionated, they are authentic. i have never forgotten my neighbors because they represent the same middle class story as mine. i went to public schools my whole life, my mother was a school teacher for 32 years and my father went to law school on the gi bill. the story is my story and i'm proud of that. i'm here to again apologize for the personal mistakes i have made and the embarrassment i have caused i make this apology to my neighbors and constituents, but i make it particularly to my wife, huma. i hoped to be able to continue
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the work that the citizens of my district elected me to do. to fight for the middle class and those struggling to make it. unfortunately the distraction that i have created has made that impossible. so today i am announcing my resignation from congress. my colleagues can get back to work, my neighbors can choose a new representative and most importantly that my wife and i can continue to heal from the damage i have caused. to repeat, most importantly so that i can continue to heal from the damage that i have caused. i want to thank my colleagues in the house of representatives.
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democrats and republicans alike. they come from different places around the country, but fundamentally, we all agree they are patriots and i will miss them all. thank you. i also want to express my gratitude to members of my staff. they are young people who are not paid very much and people who work very hard and very long hours. ultimately those people define the notion of service. i want to thank the many people who helped me. the people who volunteered and given me advice, the many of my constituent who is offered me good ideas and of course i want to express my gratitude to my family. my mother and father who instilled in me the values that carried me this far, to my brother, jason and wife huma who stood with me through this entire difficult period and to whom i owe so very much.
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i got into pell tocks to give a voice to those who did not have one. i will be looking for other ways to contribute my talent to live up to the most new york and american of ideals. leaving a family and community and a country is the one thing that all unites us and the one thing we are focused on. with god's help and hard work, we will all be successful. thank you and good afternoon. >> he tried to cover up his behavior, but he couldn't stand up to the disapproval to colleagues in congress. up on capitol hill, breaking the story early this morning. what's the reaction on the hill? >> a mix of relief and sadness. relief because of the politics and the reason why it was growing so loudly.
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privately and publicly for anthony weiner to resign because of the distraction this causes for about three weeks. for democrats. also personal sadness because nobody likes to see a colleague go down like this. let me read you one example of the many we got today. john larson is a caucus chairman in the house. he said it's difficult to watch the self destruction of a friend and witness the breaking apart over what we can categorize as reprehensible behavior and bad judgment. he made the decision with the best interest in mind of not just himself, but family and constituents and the nation. it's important to note and underscore that he resisted calls from his leadership starting the middle of last week to say you know what, enough. you have to go. call after call, he dug in saying that he simply thought he could stay the course and he
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might have done things immoral, but not illegal and not in violation of house rules and laws. he was insisting that his wife wanted him to stay and citing polls showing the majority wanted him to stay, but it was too much for fellow leaders and for the president of the united states. too much of a distraction and he ultimately realized that was the case >> the office is shut down i take it on the hill? >> it is. what is going to happen when the ez nation is made formal, his office will -- the office of the ninth district will remain open and the people who work for him the way tradition is, they can work for the house clerk. the district will not have a representative voting until there is a special election and somebody new is put in. look at the pictures you are seeing there. very interesting. the nature of the story, it's a
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tourist attraction. people walking by taking pictures of the name plate of anthony weiner knowing he was going to resign and that would be down soon that gives you a sense, talk about distractions, that gives you a sense of the kind of story this has become. >> what a story indeed. thanks very much. anthony weiner came full circle, calling it quits as a congressman at the exact place where he sought local office. we go with more on how weiner made his announcement. mare, you are back home in brooklyn where you grew up >> it is. this exit was a rough one. like so many moments in the last couple of weeks where during this scandal, the atmosphere was circus-like. he ended his political career where he launched it 20 years ago as a brooklyn senior center.
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anthony weiner's resignation turned ugly quickly. >> i am announcing my resignation from congress. >> at one point a heckling over powering his words. weiner showed no emotion and took no questions. a stark contrast to the news conference 10 days ago where he admitted lying after sending peculiars to women online >> for that i am depply sorry. >> his wife was not by his side, but this time long time constituents did show up. >> i believe he was sincere. unfortunately he tried to resign with dignity, but wasn't allowed to. given the presence of someone in the audience. that hurt even more. >> i feel sorry for him because he brought himself down and it will go down in history with what he did to himself and his
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family. >> not everyone in had his district was sad to see him or the media attention go. >> it was long overdue. a little bit of a disgrace what he did. if a politician can't keep their private affairs private, he should have resigned a while ago. >> as weiner exited the place where his career started with promise, he left with an uncertain future. a future that weeks ago carried the possibility of becoming mayor of new york. >> while here in brooklyn and parts of queens where the district is mapped out, constituents were not as quick to call on weiner to step down. some are not completely ruling out perhaps political come back. anything is possible,u it's not looking good. >> what happens next there where you are in the district?
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>> what happens now, the governor will call a special election and generally we will talk about this and it's usually around 70 to 80 days when that election will happen after it is called. he was saying the staff members will be staying on until that special election happens. wolf? >> mary is in brooklyn for us. he is working the story as well. let's not forget he was a rising star in the democratic party. >> he was a rising star both in the congress and some tensions with the leadership because he criticized and he is getting a lot of attention and he is a frequent guest. he took the argument and he was a debater and viewed by many as a favorite if not the favorite to be the next mayor of new york city. finishing up his term and there will be an election for mayor. that's the job he wanted and was preparing for and many gave him
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a good shot. not now. >> some supporters are angry at democratic leadership for trying to push him out. they succeeded in that as opposed to the republican leadership that never tried to push the senator from louisiana after the d.c. madam's list >> the senator is still there and survived the scandal. he is there. >> just reelected. >> if you contrast that from new york and had a photo on the internet, but they pushed him out and he did resign. not all of these play out the same way. when they play out, they play out in the environment we are in. a lot of liberals saying why aren't republicans held to the same standard he tried to nudge republicans out of the house. it is an interesting point in the sense that anthony weiner had to come clean and could have survived achl poll in his
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district said the majority did not want him to go. the house leadership with the white house is their national concerns. candidate recruitment and fund-raising and message discipline. they are heading into 2012. the had the is trying to get reelected and nancy pelosi thinks the timing of this and the scope of this and the subject of this, they decided from a party perspective, he had to go >> you will have a lot more coming up at the top of the hour. >> rape as a weapon of war, rumors have been circulating in libya for months. cnn uncovers disturbing evidence of horrifying atrocities. the long time leader this charge after the death of osama bin laden. who is al zarqahe? >> a part of the presidential campaign and insiders are saying calista gingrich is becoming a political liability.
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>> jack cafferty is here with the cafferty file. >> a sobering thought. a new report from capital economics describes the current economic collapse as "larger and faster than the one during the great depression." since home prices peaked in 2006, prices have fallen an average of 33%. during the 1920s and 30s, home prices declined 31% on average. one of the reasons we are in worse shape is the boom that came before this dramatic downturn was unlike anything the country saw in the years leading up to the great depression. this time around, millions more had access to the housing market. many of those people won't up buying homes they couldn't afford despite having bad credit or putting little or nothing down. foreclosures were actually down, but that says more about the
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banks than the people who can't pay. banks have been having trouble to sell the huge inventory so there is little incentive for them. additional data show nationwide prices are now at the lowest level since 2002. almost 10 years. almost one quarter of homeowners are under water. they owe the bank more than their home is worth. a poll found that 48%, 48% of americans think another great depression is likely to occur within the next year. sadly for a lot of people, it's already begun. there is a bright spot in all of this. it is a great time to buy a house with rock bottom prices and mortgage rates near lows. so few of us can afford one these days here's the question. what does it mean that the housing crisis is worse than the one this country went through in the great depression.
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cnn.com/cafferty file. >> a shocking statistic and sad too. >> very. >> thank you. we will go back to other important news the story we are about to show you is very disturbing and graphic. it is about rape as a weapon in libya's civil war and evidence of those that the rebels say are frequently found on captured cell phones. sarah explains in libya the videos are so awful the rebels are trying to erase the evidence to avoid humiliating victims and families. we should tell you we blurred a lot of the video to make it possible for sarah to file this report. >> on the frontlines of libya's war, they arin are finding a loe than weapons. they have confiscated cell phones that contain videos showing gadhafi loyalists torturing and raping libyan
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citizens after weeks of hearing of the rape videos, we have a copy of one. this was given to us by a source who does not want to be identified for fear of being punished by this conservative society. to be clear, we have been unable to verify authenticity we don't know where or when or by whom, all we can do is watch it and listen to it. in this video provided to cnn from what rebels say was a cell phone of a gadhafi oilist, two men stand over a naked woman who was bent over with her face on the floor. the man behind her is sodomiting her with what appears to be a broomstick. >> i can't bear it, she says. a male voice said let's push it further. no, no, that's enough, the woman begs. one of the men puts his sock-covered foot on her face. in this culture it is the
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ultimate insult. in this case it pales in comparison to what the victim is already enduring. we blurred it because it's difficult to watch. arabic speaker who is examined the video say the voices are distinctly libyan with clear tripoli accents no date on the video and the men in the video are not wearing military uniforms. the victim's face is barely seen so we have not been able to identify her. it is extremely difficult to get anyone to talk about this video on camera because of the cultural sensitivities we asked this man, a spokesman for the opposition whether rebels found many of these videos. his answer? yes. >> translator: we were able to confirm that rape was used as a weapon of war because it was systematic. >> the international criminal court said the allegations are credible. it is investigating. in a surprising admission to cnn, the spokesman said the
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evidence of war crimes prosecutors want may have been destroyed. >> translator: there was a commander here getting all the rape videos they found on the cell phone. i heard they used to destroy every rape video he got. >> why in the world would you destroy video evidence of rape that could be used as evidence of war crimes against your enemy, against the regime? >> translator: because aside from being a heinous crime, rape is perceived as damaging not only for the girl, but the whole family. >> rape is so taboo, the families would rather erase the evidence than risk living with the shame. cnn, libya.
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>> the gadhafi government has not responded to cnn's numerous request for comment. the secretary of state hillary clinton released this statement on the situation. i will read it to you. >> strong statement from hillary clinton. the use of rape as a tool of war in libya. is al qaeda's new leader, al-zawahri is obsessed with attacking the united states as osama bin laden was.
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we are getting new information. newt gingrich's wife and how she is helping and possibly hurting her husband's presidential campaign. [ male announcer ] do you know how you will react when someone changes lanes without warning? or when you're distracted? when you're falling asleep at the wheel? do you know how you'll react? lexus can now precisely test the most unpredictable variable in a car -- the driver. when you pursue perfection, you don't just engineer the world's most advanced driving simulator. you engineer amazing. ♪ you engineer amazing. a vacation on a budget with expedia. make it work. booking a flight by itself is an uh-oh. see if we can "stitch" together a better deal. that's a hint, antoine. ooh! see what anandra did? booking your flight and hotel at the same time gets you prices hotels and airlines won't let expedia show separately.
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al qaeda has a new leader. posted on jihadist websites, the terror group's number two is now number one. we take a closer look at the man who is already one of the most
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wanted terrorists. >> wolf, the killing of several top al qaeda members, the spring and fractures in the organization challenges for al-zawahri as he takes the reigns of al qaeda. the ideology of wrau zau is the underpinning of al qaeda. he is the strategist, pop gandist and with osama bin laden's death, its leader. >> we have seen the reports and it barely matter who is runs al qaeda. al qaeda is a bankrupt ideology. >> al-zawahri is an egyptian who in the 70s conspired to overthrow his government. al-zawahri was jailed and tortured for three years. he went to pakistan and treated fighting against the soviet occupation of afghanistan. there he met a young saudi named
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osama bin laden. they forged al qaeda declaring and waging war on america. as number two in the al qaeda hierarchy, al-zawahri was often the face and voice, combative, taunting. he once used malcolm x's term house negro to describe president barack obama. trarnz transyou were born to a muslim father and chose to stand in the ranks of the enemies >> the up risings raise serious questions, but in a recent video, he embraced them. >> translator: they need to continue their struggle. their rage and sacrifices >> some worry that al-zawahri, now in charge, will change the emphasis of al qaeda. >> the terrorism and weapon was mass destruction. he has been interested to a degree greater than anyone else in the movement in acquiring such weapons >> here is so disliked he could
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drive al qaeda into the ground and others say he will cement his position at the helm of al qaeda. >> thanks very much. we will bring in the most experts that will be our analyst who spent a lot of time studying al-zawahri. how does he get elected leader? is there a process he goes through? he was number two. is he automatic? >> we're don't know the answer to that. it's very opaque. the idea of a lot of the al qaeda leaders got together for a meeting doesn't seem plausible. perhaps there might have been couriers communicated with the senior leaders before he died. i think we never have had an answer to that question. >> for they have the thumb drives they can send around as bin laden did. >> right.
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that's maybe how this was accomplished. have the members of al qaeda as a group shown allegiance? i'm not sure that's clear. >> you pointed out that al-zawahri doesn't have the charisma of bin laden. how does this affect him? >> rather poorly. al-zawahri is almost a black hole of charisma compared to bin laden. even by his fellow egyptians when you join al qaeda you swear allegiance to bin laden, a binding and serious oath. if the person who replaces the leader is less charismatic and effective, that raises the question not only of the members in al qaeda and are they going to swear allegiance to al-zawahri? one said they will recognize
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al-zawahri as the leader, but so far we haven't heard from a number of other groups are they okay with the decision? >> is there a difference between the goals of al-zawahri versus bin laden? he wanted spectacular attacks that kill a lot of people like 9/11. is al-zawahri on board with that? some of the operatives in yemen want more limited attacks and they'll kill a few people. >> that's because those are the only attacks they can do. there is not much distance between bin laden and al-zawahri on this. it was more bin laden who pushed the idea of attacking america. he is obsessed with overthrowing his government. i don't see in the future there can be much distance overtime. >> everyone believes that al-zawahri is hiding out somewhere in pakistan and who knows where he is hiding out. elements in pakistan of helping him and harshoring him
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do you believe that? >> elements is a vague term. the question is, is there official complicity. i have seen no evidence of that. >> elements in the pakistani government, the military and the intelligence service that they are helping? >> i don't see and we have no evidence of that. >> do you believe elements in the pakistani government intelligence military? >> we see no evidence. one of the reasons is both have repeatedly called for attacks on the pakistani government, starting several years ago. not only that, but al qaeda tried to kill president mushareef when he was president of pakistan on two occasions >> a lot of officials have said to me and i don't know if they have evidence, but they believe the pakistani government wanted to find al-zawahri and they could hand him over and kill him. they believe that. i don't know if they have the evidence to back it up >> that's a different question.
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are they looking in a profound way? were they looking for bin laden? i think the answer is no. were they hiding him? there is no evidence of that. >> if they did kill al-zawahri or hand him over to the united states, that would go along way in repairing this very strained u.s.-pakistani relationship. >> i think you put your finger on it. if you think of one above all others, i think al-zawahri would be that deliverable. >> thanks very much. appreciate it. republican candidate gingrich is lashing out at those who bashed his wife. does calista gingrich deserve the heat she is get something looting, smashing and burning. vancouver fans turn violent after losing the hockey league championship. no secret he smokes, but you won't city very often. john boehner lights up in public. [ banker ] mike and brenda found a house that they really wanted.
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. >> there angry hockey fans in canada right now. the other top stories in "the situation room" right now. what's going on. >> they are cleaning up from rioting that erupted last night after the city's canucks lost the hockey league championships to the boston bruins. cars were overturned and set on fire. store windows smashed and businesses looted. similar violence broke out when the canucks lost to the new york rangers in 1994. a hacker attack on citigroup accounts was bigger than first reported. the company now said more than 360,000 beings were hacked. that's 150,000 more than it said. most of the affected customers were notified by mail and issued new cards. it took three weeks. frozen ground beef is linked to a new e coli outbreak in the
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french city where seven children are suffering kidney failure due it a rare strain of the bacteria they are all in serious condition, but expected to survive the outbreak comes on the heels of an outbreak in germany that killed more than three dozen people. that was caused by contaminated bean sprouts. here is something you rarely see in public. that is house speaker john boehner lighting up a cigarette. this was at yesterday's annual congressional picnic at the white house. boehner's smoke suggest no secr secret. he said it's a bad habit and wish i didn't have it, but i have it. puffing away. president obama also was a smoker. >> he hasn't smoked in a while. >> gave it up. >> thanks for that. >> newt gingrich predicts of his wife's influence and presidential bid. is she really limiting the
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amount of time he can spend campaigning? what president obama has to say about the weiner scandal. new information coming. okay, team! after age 40, we can start losing muscle --
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president obama just commented on anthony weiner's decision to resign in an interview with abc news. listen. >> i wish representative weiner and his lovely wife well. obviously it has been a tough incident for them, but i'm confident that they will refocus and he willry fo refocus and bo back >> let's go to jack with the cafferty file.
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>> the question is what does it mean that the housing crisis, the current is worse than in the great depression? skeef writes in virginia during the great depression, there were people living in housing that they couldn't afford or living beyond their means. i bet you could count of number of credit cards issued on one hand. it was created by the banks, mortgage companies and people who wanted to live the big life before they earned it. pete writes from georgia, can you say house of cards, our obsession of owning a home led us into this disaster. moral lending backed by the same congress that led america off the cliff while padding the pockets of politicians and bankers. sad and pathetic. fred said this president and his fellow democrated have failed they cannot spend their way to prosperi prosperity. ralph writes government's proper place is to be a referee between dig business and the consumer
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like in a prize fight. remove the government by excessive deregulation and in come the crooks with the no money down home loans, etc. when they did variable rate mortgages like a stock market margin call in 1929, it was predictable. it was created by bad presidential and congressional management. renee said it means those responsible were not held accountable. if they failed to learn from history are doomed to repeat it. tom writes bankers were more moral in the great depression of the 30s. they had personal pride and respectable image they maintain. the you will wahl street crowd thought graham and bush would let them get away with anything regulations and safeguards have been stripped away to make theft legal. david in florida writes i don't know what it means i want a list of the soup kitchens in my area. if you want to read more, go to
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my blog >> thanks very, very much. tiffany's credit line and morning appointments at the hairdresser. is newt gingrich's wife causing problems for his campaign and the anthony weiner saga comes to an end. is jeannie moos happy about this? >> female announcer: sandals luxury included resorts now include a once-in-a-lifetime offer: book now, save up to 65%. call 1-800-sandals. look at all this stuff for coffee. oh there's tons. french presses, espresso tampers, filters. it can get really complicated. not nearly as complicated as shipping it, though. i mean shipping is a hassle. not with priority mail flat rate boxes from the postal service. if it fits it ships anywhere in the country for a low flat rate. that is easy. best news i've heard all day! i'm soooo amped!
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is a first lady playing a complicating role in her husband's campaign? calista gingrich, wife of newt gingrich. cnn's lisa sylvester has been learning a lot more about calista gingrich. >> before we get to that, newt gingrich's campaign got off to a rocky start losing a dozen key members of his team. one of the issues is his wife, calista. aides say she limits the amount of time she has for campaigning. he said lay off my wife.
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gingrich 2012 is not about the man who would be president, but by head side is calista gingrich featured on his campaign website. this is his third wife, married 11 years. he began dating while he was still the married speaker of the house and she worked for the house agricultural committee. he may be now playing up his family man role but calista has become something of a politicalliability according to officials close to the gingrich camp. first it was his credit line of up to $500,000 at the upscale tiffany's jewelry store. gingrich was put on defense. >> do you feel like -- >> i feel you are far more fascinated with that than most americans. normal americans actually ask about jobs. they ask about energy. they ask about all sorts of things that affect their lives. >> reporter: earlier this month, more than a dozen of gingrich's advisers resigned en masse over, quote, disagreements on how to
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move forward. calista's schedule took priority over newt's schedule, said one source. newt gingrich on fox news pushed back. >> after all my years in public life, i don't mind people attacking me. i can take it. but to go after anyone's wife i think is pretty despicable. >> reporter: friends of the couple told cnn calista was reluctant to schedule campaign events in the morning because she insisted on getting her hair done every day. we asked newt's communications director joe desantos about it. somebody said she was obsessed with her hair and she didn't want campaign events in the morning because she had to have time to get her hair done. >> i'm not going to respond to whatever gossip they're putting forward. they make decisions together about their schedule as every other couple does and ultimately this campaign is going to be about the challenge facing americans and the solutions newt is putting forward to those
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challenges. >> reporter: there were other issues. aide, many of whom later quit the campaign, repeatedly asking to put off a luxury cruise to the greek islands with his wife, given they were feeling the heat from the tiffany's story, but he refused. in iowa, key state, where it's all about aggressive retail politics, newt worked the crowds and was a great communicator, meeting everyday folks. but his former campaign adviser there resigned because he said he needed more of that from gingrich to move the political needle but it was challenging getting iowa on the schedule. and there were also disagreements on newt gingrich's role that he still likes playing the role of the strategist, the educator, you know, the guy talking about the polling numbers. his former communications director said no matter how good you are as a strategist, you can't be your own strategist when you are the candidate. >> i've spoken to several of those cam pin staffers who quit in protest. a lot of them cited that cruise.
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he and calista took to the eastern mediterranean, to the greek isles and turkey only a few weeks after announcing he's running for president. they wanted him to go to iowa, new hampshire, south carolina, get on the phone, start rizing money, and all of a sudden he goes on vacation. i'm sure you've heard that was a huge issue. a lot of them are blaming calista for that decision. >> they said they pleaded with him, they really asked him, please don't take this trip right now, we still are feeling the heat from the story from the tiffany's. but you're right, they all point to it was calista, it was something newt felt he had to do for his wife. they went ahead. they went on this trip. you saw that mass exodus of some of his key staffers. >> i think it's newt gingrich's right. don't blame the wife. he's the one running for president. he's the one who should be making these decisions. you can't blame her. you've got to blame him if they're bad decisions. for our north american viewers, "john king usa" is coming up at the top of the
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hour. up next here in "the situation room," jeanne moos gives us her take and anthony weiner's resignation. e broadband experiee to 55 million more americans, many in small towns and rural communities, giving them a new choice. we'll deliver better service, with thousands of new cell sites... for greater access to all the things you want, whenever you want them. it's the at&t network... and what's possible in here is almost impossible to say.
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here's cnn's jeanne moos on anthony weiner's resignation. >> reporter: there is light at the end of the scandal. lights, cameras and maybe too much action. anthony weiner himself got bumped. bumped his he was chased by the press to his own press conference. later, a hedge gave the media a payback. after a moment of stunned silence, the chase resumed. author and prison stripes added to the circus atmosphere. >> this is my book called "flush
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the toilet, why men cheat." >> reporter: which he had trouble giving away. at weiner's washington office, his plaque became a tourist attraction. with people using both thumbs and tongues while they posed so they too could be part of the -- >> disgusting -- >>s s ggross story. >> sorted. >> reporter: if the story wasn't sorted enough, a couple of hecklers looking for attention crashed weiner's perharess conference. >> i'm announcing my resignation from congress -- >> thank god, pervert. >> -- i continue to heal -- >> reporter: even the media were enraged, disowning the crashers. >> he's not with -- >> thank you and good afternoon. >> reporter: weiner's resignation may finally plug the slow week of news. >> drip, drip, drip. >> reporter: it's a splash of harsh reality for weiner's
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staff. >> the door was locked and the office lights turned out. >> reporter: only voice mail left on. >> thank you for calling the office of congressman anthony weiner. there's nobody available to take your call. >> reporter: even as the word came down the end was near, the scandal was still arousing passions. >> i'd be interested to see if allen would say the same thing if john boehner -- >> absolutely. >> really? i'm skeptical. >> call me a liar. >> i don't like to kick a guy when he's down. >> reporter: perhaps the most brutally honest reaction to the weiner scandal came from none other than geraldo rivera, reminiscing about his prime. >> i just remember my days and if there were twitter accounts and facebook accounts -- are you kidding me? i would have blanketed the country with every part of my body. >> reporter: at least weiner's resignation may help purge all those puns. let's get that word out of our system with the help of jimmy kimle. >> which

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